All of us have access to running water in our houses and we use it daily for many of our household and personal needs. You may have heard of the term “hard water”, but do you know what it actually means? What are the effects of using hard water? Read on to find out more about how hard water can affect your life.
What is Hard Water?
Water hardness is defined by the amount of calcium and magnesium dissolved in water, and the level of ‘hardness’ is determined by the concentration of minerals being dissolved in the water. As water flows around rocks made of these mineral deposits, it gains minerals and results in different levels of ‘hardness’. The water hardness in public buildings and residential homes depends on the amount of calcium carbonate concentration in the water. This amount can range from less than 60mg/L of calcium carbonate (soft), to above 180mg/L (very hard).
Is Hard Water Safe for Drinking?*
Some people say that drinking hard water can actually benefit your health! These supporters claim it is safe to consume hard water as it contains natural minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, which can help prevent some heart and cardiovascular diseases. Some even believe that the minerals in hard water can contribute to your daily dose of minerals! However, there are also others who dislike the taste and smell of hard water due to the presence of minerals. The water tastes and smells earthy, and some people are turned off by the strong smell of sulfur in hard water.
Disadvantages of Using Hard Water
The drawbacks of using hard water become evident when you perform your daily housework:
- Mineral stains can appear on clothes after washing them in the washing machine and hard water can cause clothes to wear out more quickly.
- After washing your hands with hard water, you may feel that your hands are covered by a film residue. This is due to soap reacting with calcium in the hard water, thereby creating soap scum. You will need to rinse your hands for a longer time to get rid of the film.
- After going into the dishwasher, spots may appear on your silverware and glasses due to deposits from calcium carbonate in the water. You may then need to manually use a dishcloth to wipe away the stains.
All in all, hard water affects your laundry, dishes, and even the appearance of your bathtubs. Since soap reacts with magnesium and calcium in hard water, it will be rendered less effective as a cleaning agent. Hard water also has negative effects on your body, hair, and skin. Although there is no conclusive evidence so far, some people found that drinking hard water has correlations with children getting eczema. The PH balance of your skin is affected when you use hard water. Hard water can cause a weakened skin barrier, thus making your skin more vulnerable to infections and harmful bacteria. Calcium, magnesium, and scale build-ups in your electrical appliances can also ruin their mechanisms.
In order to get rid of hard water, a water softener may be the best solution. The water softener works by flushing the water via resin beads that contain sodium and potassium ions. These ions, which are positively charged, will create soft water. Besides considering a water softener, you can also reach out to the engineering experts at Water Heating Direct to help you solve your hard water problem. At Water Heating Direct, we can offer products with the latest water heating technologies and capabilities to help you combat hard water.
*Water Heating Direct does not make any direct health claims related to water quality.